I have been reading like crazy lately. I’ve finished another two books that need reviewing, two books that I am actually really excited about reviewing because they were just so great and I had been anticipating both of them being released, but I haven’t done them yet because I’ve also been re-reading one of the books I wrote. Yeah. One of the books I wrote.
A week ago today I handed a stack of pages over to my friend Chana – she was to be the first beta reader for the novel I wrote about a year and a half ago just for the hell of it. I’ve finished NaNoWriMo three times, but this one, the one I gave to Chana that at the moment is titled The Eternals, I wrote for the hell of it. I got an idea in April and I ran with it until I was finished, some 65,000 words later.
When I was finished writing The Eternals I was exhilarated. It was the first time that I’d started and finished a complete novel outside of NaNo, and the entire time I was working on it I was pretty much doing it to test myself. Can I do this without a quarter million other people at my back? Can I do this based on my own arbitrary goals? Well, heck yeah I can. Only thing is, it seemed to me that the novel was crap. Complete crap. Crappity craptastic crap. So I let it languish there, printed out and sitting in a yellow folder at the top of my bookshelf for a year and a half, before I realized, this is stupid. I have an entire novel just sitting there, and I am not doing anything with it. I’m not getting feedback, I’m not editing, I’m not working on a second draft – mostly because once I finished it and read through it again I thought parts of it were terrible. Parts of it are great – I know that – I know that at the base level the story is sound, but so much of it is utter crap.
It’s just a first draft, though. There is plenty of time and words left for things to change.
So I gave the draft to Chana a week ago in the hopes that she would read it and give me feedback – real feedback – something I haven’t really ever gotten because I haven’t ever gone looking for it, not as far as longer works are concerned. Now, I am about to meet her in a half hour to talk about it for the first time since giving it to her, and I am half excited and half sick with terror that she’s going to tell me it’s unsalvageable.
But, alas. Since I handed her that folder a week ago, I’ve done nothing but think about The Eternals. Where can I go from here, where didn’t I go the first time, what new directions can I take the story in. I have a world of possibilities open ahead of me and all I have to do is sit down and get to typing.
And so that’s why I haven’t reviewed those two books yet. Because finally, again, I’m working on one of my own.